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Handicap weights for The Festival unveiled

Press Release 1st March 2017 Cheltenham

Please click here for this media information pack as a PDF document

Weights are unveiled today for the 10 handicaps at The Festival, which runs from Tuesday, March 14 to Friday, March 17, inclusive.
 
The top weights are as follows:
 
Ultima Handicap Chase (24)
TENOR NIVERNAIS
10-11-12
Venetia Williams
 
Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (20)
ZAMDY MAN
8-11-12
Venetia Williams
 
Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (26)
CAMPING GROUND
7-11-12
Gary Moore

Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (22)
MEGA FORTUNE
4-11-10
Gordon Elliott IRE
 
Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle ](24)
OSCAR SAM
8-11-12
Jessica Harrington IRE
 
Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (24)
TENOR NIVERNAIS
10-11-12
Venetia Williams
 
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (24)
PENDRA
9-11-12
Charlie Longsdon
 
BUYWISE
10-11-12
Evan Williams
 
ROAD TO RESPECT
6-11-12
Noel Meade IRE
 
MISSED APPROACH
7-11-12
Warrren Greatrex
 
COCKTAILS AT DAWN
9-11-12
Nicky Henderson

Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (26)
ARCTIC FIRE
8-11-12
Willie Mullins IRE
 
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Hcp Hdl (24)
THOMAS HOBSON
7-11-10
Willie Mullins IRE
 
COURT MINSTREL
10-11-10
Evan Williams
 
TAGLIETELLE
8-11-10
Gordon Elliott IRE
 
JURY DUTY
6-11-10
Gordon Elliott IRE
 
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Hcp Chs (24)
SIRE DE GRUGY
11-11-12
Gary Moore

HANDICAPPING STATEMENT FROM PHIL SMITH
 
In response to a disproportionately high success rate of Irish runners in British handicaps - which reached as high as 18% in 2004/05 compared to a British strike rate of 9.5% - it was agreed that the British handicappers should keep performance figures for Irish Jump races.
 
This is in no way a comment on our colleagues in Ireland. It is purely for consistency purposes - handicapping will always be subjective and it makes sense for every runner in handicaps in Britain to be assessed by British handicappers using identical methodology.
 
Since switching approaches the strike rate of British and Irish runners have levelled out with the Irish strike rate remaining marginally higher at 11% compared to 10% for British runners.
 
We have also monitored success rates at the four major festivals since 2006, where the British strike rate is 250 winners from 5,199 runners at 4.8%, compared to 154 Irish winners from 2,990 runners at 5.2%.
 
The Jump Handicappers are confident that based on these figures there is no semblance of any anti-Irish bias and that keeping our own Irish performance figures has given our handicaps greater equality and fairness.

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